TMX pipeline construction timeline still unclear

By Andru McCracken


The Trans Mountain Pipeline pipe yard, a staging facility for pipeline construction in the Valemount Industrial Park (incidentally the site of an old mill). Contrary to assertions, it has not been rezoned for use as a camp for pipeline workers. /LAURA KEIL

Locals are anxious to know what to expect after the federal government approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline, even though pipe for the project is making its way to the staging area in the Valemount Industrial Park, it’s unclear if or when construction will begin.

“Once we have a better sense of the regulatory process, we will be in a better position to provide an update on the project schedule,” said a spokesperson for Trans Mountain.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Ledcor Pipeline has just posted 18 jobs on the Work BC website. They are listed as full time permanent. They vary from senior project coordinator to reporting coordinator, traffic control, engineer to document control coordinator, security coordinator and even a camp manager.

For more information check out the WorkBC website.

Controversy

The pipeline isn’t without controversy and one aspect that has been raised is that the camps that house the workers. Some people are concerned they bring with them a rise in crime rates. The Tiny House Warriors, a group of indigenous environmental activists camped in Tiny Homes in Blue River, posted a video of Trans Mountain workers installing what appears to be a surveillance camera at the Valemount Industrial Park.

In a post to Facebook activist Kanahus Manuel accused the workers of illegally constructing a ‘man camp’ on unceded Secwepemc Territory. Manuel asserted the camp would result in increased attacks and rape of women and girls.

Vocal locals took issue with characterising the camps and camp workers negatively, another took issue with the pipeline.

The site will be used to stage construction, not as a camp for workers, however there is a camp planned near Valemount.

‘Man camps’ so-called because workers have been predominantly men, are feared to have an impact on crime rates in the regions they are established. A 2016 report from Amnesty International called “Out of sight, Out of mind,” called the camps into question.

A recent piece in the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s treated the subject at length citing historic examples and recent violations, asking whether the cost was worth it.

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